Private jet charter broker Sentient Jet said today that its travel bookings for the November and December holiday season have increased more than 70 percent over last year’s holiday season, “reflecting the continued resurgence” in private aviation. Popular travel destinations emerging so far during this holiday season include Palm Beach, Fla.; Aspen, Colo.; and New York City.
Charter and Fractional » Charter
News and issues concerning the aviation charter industry and markets, including company announcements, regulations, new developments and labor issues.
Abu Dhabi-based Falcon Aviation Services signed a letter of intent (LOI) for the Pilatus PC-24 yesterday afternoon at the Dubai Airshow. The new twinjet, which was launched in May at EBACE, combines light-jet operating economics with super-midsize jet capabilities and comfort and is aimed at more conventional offerings from Cessna and Embraer.
The recently appointed head of Saudi Arabia-based luxury charter firm Saudia Private Aviation (SPA) said Middle East charter demand growth stood at 8 percent this year, exceeding the worldwide industry figure, but behind Russia, India and the Asia Pacific region.
Faisal G. Kayal, managing director of SPA, said the region is witnessing “strong economic growth.” Kayal replaced Wajdi Al Idrissi, the former head of the company, in May.
Royal Jet, the Abu Dhabi-based jet charter company, announced yesterday a decision to completely renew its fleet by 2020. The company has been exploring options with various OEMs for the past 12 months, but is expected to remain a key Boeing Business Jet customer.
Charter operator Gainjet (Stand 2306) recently expanded its fleet with the addition of a 68-seat VIP-configured Boeing 737-400. The Greece-based group has made a specialty of operating former Boeing airliners, with two other 737s already in service (one with 48 seats and the other with 60 seats). The fleet also includes a very spacious 62-seat 757-200.
In what the organizers claim is a first, an aircraft–in this case a chartered Dassault Falcon 900B carrying 12 photographers and amateur astronomers on November 3–was used to intercept an extremely short total solar eclipse with a “perpendicular crossing” of the eclipse path. While aircraft have previously been used to capture solar eclipses, they flew with the eclipse path and waited for the shadow to catch up with the airplane.
Switzerland-based Vertis Aviation will open a Dubai branch of its aviation charter business in January in the Free Zone at Dubai World Central/Al Maktoum International Airport. Vertis aims to capitalize on the development of business aviation at the airport and build a broader customer network within the countries that form the Gulf Cooperation Council. The office will be run by Catherine Buchanan, who will be responsible for managing the development of the charter brokerage and strengthening the Vertis brand in the region.
Hong Kong-based Asian Sky Group introduced new “signature” charter brokerage services, promising clients red-carpet treatment from beginning to end. This service will include 24-hour client support, five-star catering, flight planning, ground transportation and “other essential services” for customers. Through a portfolio of “highly reputable operators” around the globe, Asian Sky Group plans to offer customers access to midsize through large-cabin business jets “at competitive prices.”
Sky Limo Air Charter of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., announced receiving FAA approval on Monday to place an ex-Avantair Piaggio Avanti (N306MS) on its Part 135 charter certificate, as well as the successful completion of the first charter flight with the aircraft yesterday. N306MS is one of five Avantis repossessed by Avantair creditor Midsouth Services before the Clearwater, Fla.-based fractional company entered bankruptcy.
With the exception of the light jets sector in Europe, demand for private and executive charter flights is holding up fairly well, according to the latest data from online charter portal Avinode. Demand for midsize and large-cabin jets in Europe on November 4 was, respectively, 42 and 74 points above where it had been a month earlier, based on Avinode’s forward-looking demand index, which projects anticipated demand for the next 30 days. Light jet demand was 70 points down over the same period.